Here is an example:
Do you see the 3D image? You have to completely relax your eyes while looking at the picture.
I came across a book like this from the nineties the other day when I was tidying up, and was fascinated again. Why? Well, because something unexpected opens up exactly where you wouldn't expect it: in a 2D image that doesn't mean anything.
And there is another conclusion to take from this: what we see is an illusion anyway, constructed by our brain. In principle, this applies to everything in life and business.
What is the relevance of this for our leadership and business success?
After a long time, I’d like to come back to a sales topic. Or better: How you can unleash huge potential for more sales and profit.
Examples: Recently, in a men’s clothing store, in the department for suits. After a short time, one of the many under-employed salespeople is approaching me (at last!) and selects some suits for me, showing me where I can try them on, and then: nothing! No asking, no advice. Nothing. And this is not an isolated case. Did I buy? No! Of course not.
Next: My MacBook Air needs a new battery. The Apple Store is in a different city, so I’m looking for Apple authorized stores close to my home. What do I find? Confusing websites without clear statements about price and no possibility for scheduling an online appointment. As such, I’d rather book the appointment directly at Apple online in 30 seconds. And yes, even the price is clear.
Did you know that the average car is only 6 km/h fast? Or that each email costs about 1 dollar? Or that certain computer software massively reduces productivity in ways you probably don’t even think about? You can read all of this in this article, which was published recently in a renowned Swiss newspaper (in German).
Not at all! Let’s be serious: if you want to create more results and at the same time reduce your negative stress and uncertainty, there are three important levers. What is striking is that these are often neglected in so-called “productivity programs”.
There is a mindset that is crucial for more or less success, privately or in business: Are your decisions guided by the belief that, in principle, everything is available in abundance or by the idea that there is a lack in everything?
Do you think that, if you have more of something, then someone else must have less? Or do you believe that, if you have more, others will benefit at the same time?
Now, you can probably guess which of these two mindsets leads to more success. It is the belief that everything is available in abundance: happiness, money, prosperity, success, ideas, and so on.
From my experience, however, the other mindset prevails in most companies; scarcity rules.
What does it actually mean to lead in difficult times? There's an old saying that true leadership shows up in times of crisis. When the sun is not shining, when there are storms to be overcome.
I would only agree with this to a limited extent. Because it takes a lot to set the sails properly when the wind comes from behind. In any case, I always find it remarkable how many good opportunities are missed when all doors are open. Some companies extend their competitive edge massively, especially in good times - when everyone can actually afford to do it.
Here comes the most important truth: the biggest difference in success never comes from the outside, but always from the inside. With the right leadership, you can almost always be massively more successful than the average person, no matter what is going on outside.
Exponential growth has currently become very prominent with the spread of the coronavirus: a small cause (the bartender in Ischgl in Austria) had an exponential effect (thousands of infected people who, in turn, infected thousands).
So far so clear. The problem is that our brain has enormous difficulty processing exponential connections. Instinctively, we always try to draw linear conclusions. This is where the gigantic misconceptions at the beginning of the corona spread came from (and some heads of state have still not understood it today).
This insight is extremely relevant for successful leadership. The most successful organizations are led with exponential leadership. The less successful ones, however, think linear.
If this seems too abstract to you now, here are a few examples of how you can leverage the exponential potential for your team or company and thereby create a considerable competitive advantage:
A lot has already been written about the effects on leadership and on our teamwork in organizations as a result of the corona challenges. One question keeps coming up: What will change positively in our leadership and our culture in the long term?
“The world won’t end like this,” Swedish singer Zarah Leander once sang. That statement is, of course, only partly true. With every profound change, a part of the old world goes under, and only because of that can new things be created quickly.
If it happens intentionally, it is called “creative destruction.” But what if it happens unintentionally? Then it’s called “Black Swan,” as Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote in his book of the same name some time ago.
The fascinating thing is that for the vast majority of those who witness a profound change, life goes on somehow, and in a short time for many even better than before. This applies to people as well as to companies. However, some are left behind.
Here comes the good news: it is largely in your hands. Provided you remain capable of acting at all (and most people do), you can decide for yourself whether you will do better or worse afterward the change.
In times of crisis, it becomes especially obvious how strong our inner resistance to change is. We should not fool ourselves—we all carry these obstacles within us.
The great art in any transformation—whether jointly through projects or individually through coaching—is to transform the energy of resistance into an energy of change.
Does this sound too theoretical? Well, we are currently witnessing amazing demonstrations of how this works in real life. Through COVID-19, most people have realized relatively quickly (though some slowly) that opposition against change is of little use. Those who direct their energy toward positive change will win. That is also the subject of my recent video training (more details here).
Even before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, I had already written about what we could learn from him ( click here). By that, I do not mean his content and behavior but how he manages to be successful by his own standards.
As the saying goes, anyone can serve as a role model, even for how not to do something.
Over the course of the corona pandemic, Donald Trump has shown five strategies for retaining power. We can all use the fourth and fifth as a positive starting point for our own leadership:
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